The old Fire Station 6, a historic landmark designated building, is located in the heart of the Central Area of Seattle, a historically African American neighborhood. We envision transforming Fire Station 6 into the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation.
William Grose was an early pioneer in Seattle as well as a successful African American entrepreneur. After helping slaves escape and establish a Canadian settlement in the early 19th century, Grose arrived as one of the first few hundred people in what is now the city of Seattle. He went on to start a successful restaurant and hotel, and helped to establish the Central District, or Africatown.
The old fire station will be a prime hub for the cultural innovation that is already taking place in that area. If the Central District has been home to past greats like Jimi Hendrix and Quincy Jones, then the future is looking just as creative. Imagine a team of two 12 year old founders using a sewing machine and 3D printer to a design a hoodie that is laced with wearable technology, or a High School Senior stopping by The Center to get assistance from volunteer Amazon employees on creating an app for her band's new mixtape.
In addition to young people who are "digital natives," local mom and pop businesses would be able to stop by The Center to learn about how they can add their handmade products to the Amazon marketplace online. Hack the CD has started the long term process of seeding some of the many ingredients needed to create a startup community in the Central District, because of its historic roots and influx of transplants of African descent. Ultimately, this ecosystem of intergenerational designers, entrepreneurs, and technologists will look like a symbiotic relationship between the community, small retailers service providers, and high growth ventures.